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Battery Energy Storage

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Battery Energy Storage

Location: Southern California

Primoris company, ARB Industrial, successfully completed the largest battery energy storage project in the world

  • Largest in the world, to date - 20 MW Battery Storage Facility
  • Fastest completion of its kind - Built in a record-setting four months
  • Capable of providing 80MWh of electricity over four hours
  • Enough to power 15,000 homes
  • 12,500 s/f building, 100 tons of steel, 1,020 battery racks, 12,240 lithium-ion battery modules
  • With the successful completion of this momentous project, grid-energy storage projects are now being fast-tracked

A testament to California’s energy market transformation toward clean, renewable energy

Facing shortages of natural gas storage capacity which could cause blackouts, Southern California Edison expedited the deployment of two energy storage facilities to ensure a reliable supply of electricity. AltaGas Ltd. won one of the projects, and contracted Primoris company, ARB, Inc. to construct.

Last fall's natural gas leak at Aliso Canyon, near the Los Angeles, California neighborhood of Porter Ranch, released thousands of tons of methane before it was sealed by Sempra Energy in February. The use of its Aliso Canyon complex, California’s biggest gas storage field, remains restricted. To alleviate the risk of blackouts, regulators ordered California utilities to install energy storage systems to store electricity when demand is low and deploy it when usage spikes.

In August 2016, California regulators approved two contracts to build grid-scale battery energy storage systems to address anticipated power shortfalls stemming from the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak. Canadian energy company AltaGas Ltd. won one of the projects, a 20 megawatt of capacity for a continuous four hour period, the equivalent of 80 megawatt-hour to be operational in record time by December 31, 2016. AltaGas Pomona battery energy storage project would be the largest in the world to date, and stores enough electricity to power approximately 15,000 homes.

In September 2016, AltaGas selected ARB Industrial to construct the Pomona Battery Energy Storage project. ARB’s scope of work included demolition of existing facilities, procurement of balance of plant equipment and material, full construction including civil, mechanical, structural, electrical, and project management. ARB’s team, in collaboration with Primoris Electric self-performed the entire project.

We knew from the get go that this project would pose many challenges including a hyper fast-track schedule, first time technology, and first time self-performing major electrical scope among other things. The ARB team welcomed the opportunity and with proper planning, teamwork, tireless efforts and perseverance overcame all challenges. AltaGas Pomona BESS battery storage project was safely and successfully commissioned on December 30, 2016. At the peak of the project it took 120 staff and craft working 24/7 for over 40 days straight.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff and craft for their commitment, teamwork and relentless effort to make this project possible. We know that you all made great personal sacrifices to achieve this success, and we'll be able to leverage this success on future projects in energy storage.

This project is a testament to California’s energy market transformation from fossil fuel to clean-renewable energy. With the successful completion of this momentous project, grid-energy storage projects are now being fast-tracked.

Utility grid operators are beginning to embrace battery storage as a much more reliable method of providing renewable energy in conjunction with “intermittent” wind and solar power, which otherwise require a 100 percent natural gas power plant back-up. Batteries are also much more economical for the limited time buffering of power availability.

Major California utilities are under a 2013 order by California's Public Utilities Commission to install 1.3 gigawatts of energy storage capacity by 2020. One gigawatt is the equivalent of 1,000 megawatts, and this project was only 20 megawatt which means many more to come.

The success of the Pomona BESS project will afford ARB Industrial and other Primoris entities future opportunities in a burgeoning energy market.


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